A consortium of automakers and suppliers are working together in Germany on a four-year intelligent vehicle trial program aimed at improving road safety and mobility through the use of intelligent communication systems. The trial program has been launched in Frankfurt through what is being called “Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany.” The collaboration is made up of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Volkswagen, Bosch, Continental, and Deutsche Telekom. They will also be joined by representatives of regional infrastructure operators and German research institutions.
The trial will consist of a fleet of 120 cars equipped with the most up-to-date car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication tools, being tested in real life situations. It is hoped that intelligent vehicles will remove human error from the roads and therefore make them safer. The features to be tested include electronic brake lights which deliver a message from a lead car to one behind that braking has occurred. This means that the car following will know that the car has been forced to brake, even if it is out of sight, like round a bend for example.
Another aspect of intelligent vehicle technology to be tested is obstacle warning systems, which allow cars to communicate where and what types of hazards are present on the roads. The final measure is known as traffic sign assistant, which informs the driver of temporary and permanent regulations on the road ahead – the information is delivered through continuous contact with traffic management centers.